BALTIMORE — The 2020 race for Baltimore Mayor now has 17 candidates.
Former Baltimore Police and Baltimore County spokesman T.J. Smith made his candidacy official Tuesday morning. The announcement comes after months of speculation surrounding Smith and the possibility of a run at Baltimore's top political post.
During his time with the Baltimore Police Department, Smith became well known in the community as an outspoken critic on crime in the City.
In July of 2017, Smith's 24-year-old brother Dionay was shot and killed in the 1400 block of Argyle, the same block where Smith announced his Mayoral run.
Smith stepped down as the department's chief spokesman in January to join newly elected Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszweski as his head spokesperson.
The move was seen as another step in Smith's preparation for a run for office.
On October 4, Smith announced he was leaving that position to "explore other opportunities".
From that point on, it was known Smith had been consulting with those close to him on whether to make a run.
He joins four Republicans and twelve other Democratic candidates to join a crowded group that already includes current Mayor Jack Young, who announced his official run Saturday, City Council President Brandon Scott, and former Deputy State Attorney General and Baltimore City States Attorney Candidate Thiru Vignarajah.